March 15, 2007

HELL CAN'T BE MUCH DIFFERENT THAN LOWER WACKER:

'It's not something you ever forget' (FRANK MAIN, RUMMANA HUSSAIN, DAVE NEWBART AND LISA DONOVAN, 3/15/07, Chicago Sun-Times)

The three college friends from the north suburbs were celebrating their spring break in a Chinatown restaurant Tuesday night.

They chatted with pals, sipped smoothies and dined on chicken fried rice, beef chow mein and crab rangoon.

"They were happy, talking," said Bo Wu, their waiter at Seven Treasures Cantonese Cuisine.

Less than an hour later, they died when their sports car crashed early Wednesday on Lower Wacker Drive -- a wreck so horrific, the car was towed to the Cook County medical examiner's office, where their bodies were cut out.

"It's not something you ever forget," said Jacob Glasnovich, a witness to the fiery accident. "It was surreal."


Roads are evil anyway, but a submerged one approximates Hades. The homeless population you see stumbling around down there is like something out of Durer.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 15, 2007 6:56 AM
Comments

OJ:

Lower Wacker was completely rebuilt a few years ago. Back in the day (see Blues Brothers), I'd definitely agree.

Posted by: Rick T. at March 15, 2007 9:33 AM

Rick T.,

My son, a civil engineer, worked on that renovation. Just about drove him nuts, as I recall.

Posted by: jdkelly at March 15, 2007 9:41 AM

Someone explain to this well-scrubbed and hustling rube what a "submerged road" is in this context. Where I live, you're not supposed to drive on submerged roads because even a few inches is enough to wash your car away and a Google search seems to agree with my definition.

Posted by: Bryan at March 15, 2007 10:01 AM

Very puzzling. Why do we care about a most unremarkable Darwin moment involving reckless driving? A tragic loss for the families of those involved, to be sure, but, in the end, no more and no less than the natural and probable result of going too fast for conditions.

Is the point suposed to be that the road is not well designed? The article tells of water of the roadway and of massive collision damage such as wouod be consistent with high speed. There are plenty of roads which could have been built better, and sometimes it rains.

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 15, 2007 10:49 AM

Bryan:

Probably not the most accurate choice of words. Because Chicago is built in a swamp on either side of the Chicago river, the level of the modern city is substantially above ground level. There are a few roads at the old ground level, one of which is lower Wacker Drive which runs along the river and has another level built above it. Or you can just look at the link:

http://www.glasssteelandstone.com/Features/BatmanBegins/LowerWackerDrive.php

As an aside, the original Billy Goat Tavern (of SNL Cheezborger! Cheezborger! fame is on lower Michigan Avenue a few blocks from the picture. You can see the old lower Wacker Drive in the Blues Brother movie, which is what it was like when OJ lived in Chicago.

Posted by: Rick T. at March 15, 2007 10:50 AM

No, not completely:

www.suntimes.com/news/metro/298249,CST-NWS-cbox15.article

Posted by: oj at March 15, 2007 11:05 AM

It's always been fun to drive at night. As long as you're sober.

Posted by: Sandy P at March 15, 2007 11:10 AM

Sounds like they were driving in an unsafe manner. From the article:
"The Mazda kind of revved its engine before the light and peeled out when it turned green."
The article indicates they were drag racing with another car and also that drugs or alcohol were not a factor.
My money's on young Tommy trying to impress the really hot girls he had as passengers. Cheers to him for keeping his eyes on the prize (gettin' some), jeers for not keeping his eyes on the road.
I'm not sure how this proves that all roads are evil.

Posted by: Bryan at March 15, 2007 11:20 AM
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